"Horns Down" unsurprisingly stole the show at Thursday's Big 12 media day.
Big 12 officials coordinator Greg Burks doubled down on the league's decision to penalize players if the inverted Longhorns gesture was directed toward a Texas player, according to Sports Illustrated.
"Let me be very clear of Horns Down. ... It's the same as all other signals. It’s when you do it, who you do it to and which manner you do it," Burks said at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Thursday (July 14).
Burks went on to deliver a message directly to Oklahoma fans. "Please, the state of Oklahoma: I make no offense. You don't have to send me emails. We are just looking at that as any other act and you know that unsportsmanlike conduct is in there. It is not about Horns Up or Horns Down, it's about the manner that you do anything on the field to an opponent in an unsportsmanlike manner," he said.
The Horns Down penalty was introduced in 2019. There are exceptions to the rule, however. If a player does Horns Down as a touchdown celebration, it's likely it won't be called for a penalty. It's when a player uses Horns Down to taunt a player that it becomes a problem.
"Like any play, there is a degree — who it's directed at. If they do it in their bench area, we're not going to look at it. It would be like any other celebration foul, so it has to be like any other foul we have. Does it rise to the level we need to deal with that? It's a hot topic. I know people want us to be definitive on that, but it's like any touchdown celebration. Is it directed at an opponent or just celebration with your teammates?" Burks said in 2019, according to ESPN.
In recent Horns Down news, Texas singer Zac Collier was scheduled to perform the national anthem at the Men's College World Series in June, but was axed from the gig after doing Horns Down at the Women's College World Series the week prior. Collier, a Texas A&M alumnus, said he got an email from the NCAA three hours after it happened saying he engaged in "unsportsmanlike behavior" and made "offensive gestures."